Week 44 Budget and Menu

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This week is full of fall goodness–pumpkin, acorn squash, chowder, kale–yum! Our weather finally feels like fall, and while I’m sad to see our summer weather go, I’m glad to get my cute boots and sweaters out of storage!

Our markets are full of peppers, squash, pumpkins, lettuce, kale, green beans and hopefully we will have broccoli soon! I am missing our summer berries–that season always seems too short–but we are enjoying apples. Last season, North Carolina had an apple shortage due to a late spring freeze in the mountains, but this year is a completely different story! So glad to see lots and lots of apples out there!

Breakfasts this week include homemade muffins, bagels, and steel-cut oatmeal. Our lunches are typically leftovers and fruit or oatmeal.

The budget this week is good! We are helped as always by Tom supplying us with the fish he catches (one of the benefits of living close to the ocean!).

Budget [$87.51]

  • The Produce Box (apples, green beans, acorn squash, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, peppers, kale): $47.25
  • Trader Joes (Romano cheese, pasta, ground organic turkey, taco shells, avocado, frozen fruit, yogurt, almond milk, whole wheat flour): $34.26
  • Panera (bagels) $6.00

Weekly Menu

  • Wednesday–Green salad with hard boiled eggs
  • Thursday–Leftover pasta with red pepper sauce
  • Friday–Chicken and kale stuffed acorn squash, quinoa
  • Saturday–Baked fish, green beans, salad
  • Sunday–Corn and crab chowder, salad
  • Monday–Pumpkin kale pasta
  • Tuesday–Turkey tacos, spicy rice
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Week 32 Budget and Menu

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You know that song, “Life in the Fast Lane?” We’ll, I’m definitely not living the boozy, drug life the Eagles sang about, but life sure has gone back into hyper drive. Ellie is back in school, the fall sports season is cranking up, Tom and I are training for our first ever half marathon and we have some family crises to negotiate. So this week, I am planning our meals, but I’m not entirely sure we’ll get to eat them all. We may have some carryover into next week (thank goodness for the freezer!).

Our budget is way over. Again. That seems so crazy to me because we aren’t even eating much meat and we saved a lot by buying a whole fish to roast instead of fillets. But, there it is. Thankfully, we’ll have some carryover sweet potatoes and maybe tomatoes for next week!

Budget [$133.44]

  • La Farm Bakery (bread): $4.50
  • The Produce Box (sweet potatoes, sweet onions, organic cherry tomatoes, okra, pink eye field peas, watermelon, eggplant, mixed peppers, heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella): $46.45
  • Locals Seafood (shrimp, whole Spanish Mackerel): $18.96
  • Homestead Harvest Farm (eggs): $5.00
  • Hillsborough Cheese Company (feta): $4.00
  • Other vendors (peaches, kale): $8.00
  • Trader Joes (Shredded cheese, black beans, lemons, rice, organic chicken, oranges, proscuitto, frozen fruit, almond milk): $46.53

Menu

  • Wednesday–Grilled Caprese sandwiches with homemade pickles
  • Thursday–Sweet potato, black bean and chorizo pizza
  • Friday–Roasted tomato and feta shrimp over rice
  • Saturday–Oven roasted fish with field peas, okra and tomatoes
  • Sunday–Citrus chicken with leftover field pea mix
  • Monday–Peach and prosciutto panzanella salad
  • Tuesday–Citrus chicken salad with leftover panzanella

Week 25 Budget and Menu

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My treat from the market–fresh strawberry agua fresca from Bo Ku!

The blackberries are here! The blackberries are here! I am so glad to see blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches and melons all making their market appearances this week!!! And corn. Yum. This is the time of year I just eat myself into oblivion.

This week’s budget takes advantage of some wonderful produce that is available, as well as some lovely, locally made pimento cheese ravioli! I hope to be posting the recipes for the fish, spicy blackberry sauce and eggplant this week, so watch for them!

Our budget this week is over by $11.71, but we are out of some key staples like organic cane sugar, kosher salt and olive oil, so we are stocking up this week. Thank goodness for Trader Joes!

Did you know you can keep up with SOLE Food Kitchen on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Follow us, “like” us and be a part of the conversation!

Budget [$111.71]

  • The Produce Box (grape tomatoes, eggplant, ORGANIC: blackberries, blueberries, chard, yellow potatoes, string beans, beets): $39.50
  • Melina’s Pasta (pimento cheese ravioli): $6.00
  • Hillsborough Cheese Company (mozzarella): $6.00
  • Mae Farm (brats): $8.00
  • Locals Seafood (red drum fillets): $18.00
  • Trader Joes (prosciutto, frozen fruit, yogurt, butter, Parmesan cheese, organic cane sugar, salt, olive oil, Ezekiel bread): $34.21

Menu

  • Wednesday–Leftover pasta with cauliflower sauce
  • Thursday–Working late
  • Friday–Roasted beet salad with goat cheese
  • Saturday–Fish with cherry tomatoes, green beans, potatoes
  • Sunday–Healthy eggplant “lasagna”
  • Monday–Grilled brats with blackberry ketchup, roasted potatoes
  • Tuesday–Pimento cheese ravioli with crispy prosciutto and pecans

Week 19 Budget and Menu

Our little family is unbelievably busy this spring! Between softball, Girl Scouts and homework, our evenings are chock full of activity. Rather than drive myself to distraction trying to race home and cook a big supper, we are focusing on easy, healthy meals that are also quick to prepare.

We are right at our budget of $100.00 this week. While we aren’t spending a lot more at the farmer’s markets, staples that we buy at the grocery sure have gone up! Have you noticed this as well? Yikes!

Most of our budget for week 19 went to The Produce Box. I have to say, they pulled out the stops this week. I’ve never had local, fresh bamboo shoots! They take a bit of preparation, but it will be fun to try something new. We will also have fresh snap peas and local goat cheese from Hillsborough Cheese Company. Can’t wait!!!

Speaking of excitement, SOLE Food Kitchen now has a Facebook page! Click HERE to find us on Facebook and “like” us if you want to get more SOLE Food goodness!

Budget [$100.03]

  • The Produce Box (strawberries, spring onions, spring garlic, romaine lettuce, tomato, purple and green asparagus, bamboo shoots, snap peas and herbed goat cheese): $47.50
  • Trader Joes (roast beef, chicken thighs, prosciutto, rice, frozen fruit, yogurt, soymilk): $38.53
  • Mitchell Family Pantry (jam, salsa, pickles, roasted tomato sauce): $14.00

Menu

  • Wednesday–Scrambled farm egg burritos with homemade salsa
  • Thursday–Roast beef wraps with herbed goat cheese spread, strawberry/pineapple salad
  • Friday–Grilled cheese and jam sandwiches, green salad, strawberry cobbler
  • Saturday–Chicken and vegetable stir fry with organic rice, leftover cobbler
  • Sunday–Pasta with asparagus and prosciutto in a goat cheese sauce, Linzer muffins
  • Monday–Chicken salad sandwiches, homemade pickles
  • Tuesday–Asparagus soup, salad

Have a happy and healthy week ahead!

Week 14 Budget and Menu

This week, the thermometer is slowly creeping up past 50 degrees. Not quite spring here (last year at this time, we were in the 80s and my tomatoes were already in the ground!). Our menu this week features the weirdness that is our late winter/early spring weather. A little freshness, a little hardiness. That’s how we’re rolling this week.

I’m excited about Easter. We’re having supper with some friends and it will be the first Easter in a long time that I haven’t done all the cooking. Nice to focus on just a couple of dishes and have fun socializing! I’m experimenting with some raw desserts and snack this week–will share the results! I’m especially hopeful about raw, vegan peanut butter eggs!

Next week, Ellie and I head to Paris with my mom–a girls week in Paris! I’ll have fun blogging about our food finds! Can’t wait!

Have a healthy and happy week!

Budget [$92.36]

  • Locals Seafood (shrimp): $10.00
  • Trader Joes (frozen fruit, yogurt, soy milk, pineapple, lime, ground turkey, canned organic beans, sweet potato gnocchi, quinoa):$54.36
  • Whole Foods (raw coconut flour, flax seeds, beans, raw almond butter):
  • Farmers market (eggs, carrots, broccoli): $14.00
  • Mitchell garden (collard greens): FREE!
  • Mitchell family pantry (frozen tomatoes, frozen corn, canned salsa, canned roasted pepper ketchup, strawberry jam): $14.00

Menu

  • Sunday–Deviled eggs, roasted honey-ginger carrots, vegan peanut butter eggs
  • Monday–Fried thai quinoa, pot stickers
  • Tuesday–Turkey chili, cornbread
  • Wednesday–Roasted shrimp and broccoli over rice
  • Thursday–Sweet potato gnocchi with collards, bacon, corn and tomatoes
  • Friday–leftovers
  • Saturday–Chipotle chicken tacos, rice

Week 13 Budget and Menu

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As we cruise on into the Holy Week of Easter and March Madness, we are hoping for spring weather, but all we see is leftover winter. And you know how leftovers are, right? At first, they seem like yummy gifts, then they seem more like an obligation and finally you start to resent their very presence in your refrigerator. I’m like that with the weather right now. In August, I’ll be complaining about the heat, but right now, the cold weather just seems wrong. I want to grill something while I’m watching my bracket helplessly implode, not huddle around a pot of stew. And Miami? It’s all riding on you. No pressure or anything, but mama needs a new cast iron Dutch oven. Let’s get it right, people. Ok? Ok.

Moving on back to food, our farmer’s markets are still offering the usual late winter variety of root vegetables, greens and potatoes. There isn’t a whole lot of excitement right now in regards to veggies, although from the photo above, you can tell that our farmers are trying to maintain enthusiasm!

In a few weeks, I’ll begin my “What’s Fresh at the Market” postings, but at this point, it’s all the same list. Our menu this week is still making the most of what we have in our garden and pantry, but I’m trying to change things up a bit so we don’t get bored. We’ve got some solid standby’s with fish tacos and shrimp pad Thai, as well as some new recipes with the Brussels sprout salad and sweet potato/chipotle pepper soup. It should be a tasty week!

As for our budget, we are definitely over. We’re having another week of seafood from our NC waters, but it did up our budget (plus we added more dried fruit to make energy bars). On the bright side, I found raw cashews at Trader Joes for $6.99 a pound–half of what Whole Foods charges!!! More raw double fudge in our future!

Budget [$111.93]

  • Mae Farm (bacon): $7.00
  • Locals Seafood (fish, shrimp): $18.00
  • Various farmer’s market vendors (onions, new crop pecans, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato): $14.00
  • Rare Earth Farm (buttermilk, eggs): $9.00

  • Trader Joes (blue cheese, chipotle peppers, portabello mushrooms, Asian noodles, scallions, frozen fruit, yogurt, soy milk): $55.93
  • Whole Foods (heirloom beans, dates): $8.00

Menu

  • Sunday–Roasted Brussels sprouts salad with bacon, blue cheese and pecans, deviled farm eggs
  • Monday–Fish tacos with sweet potato/chipotle pepper soup
  • Tuesday–Heirloom beans with bacon and caramelized onions
  • Wednesday–Girl Scouts; leftover beans and rice
  • Thursday–Heather’s easy shrimp pad Thai
  • Friday–Pan seared whiting with tomatoes and sauteed greens
  • Saturday–Portabello and seared steak “pizzas” with leftover blue cheese

Week 12 Budget and Menu

This week, we are continuing our “use it up” mode from last week. We are using lots of ingredients from our canned and frozen summer foods as well as what is in our garden (will the greens EVER die????). Our budget is low this week because we are celebrating a very successful grading period for Ellie, who is tracking out this week. So, she gets to pick where we go to eat, which should make things interesting! As a result, we have one less dinner on the menu.

Our budget this week is $73.35, so we are below our goal for the week. Overall, we are doing much better with our budget than at this time last year!

Budget [$73.35]

  • Farmer’s Market (cabbage, potatoes, carrots, apples): $13.00
  • Whole Foods (corned beef roast, salmon): $19.00
  • Trader Joes (Ezekial bread, lemon, frozen fruit, soy milk, yogurt, breakfast burritoes): $43.35
  • Mitchell Family Pantry (fig preserves, strawberry preserves, frozen peas): $8.00
  • Garden (Chinese cabbage, Swiss chard): FREE!

Menu

  • Sunday–Happy St. Pats! Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots
  • Monday–Working night–Last of the frozen ribollita soup
  • Tuesday–Leftover corned beef
  • Wednesday–Baked and stuffed sweet potatoes, sauteed Swiss chard
  • Thursday–End of quarter celebration–Ellie picks!
  • Friday–Chili dusted salmon with figs, rice and peas, sauteed Chinese cabbage
  • Saturday–Pasta with sardines and lemon

Week 11 Budget and Menu

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This week, we are definitely making a big push to use what we have in our pantry of canned goods, our freezer and our garden. It’s “use it up” time! This winter is the first season that we have had canned goods, a freezer full of local veggies, and a successful winter garden. We planned very well and still have plenty left over. Next year, I’m not sure we need quite so much, but it’s good to have yummy food to share rather than regretting we didn’t put up more! We are having a smaller amount of meat this week, but more seafood–NC flounder is always a hit in our house. We’re buying only local seafood from the NC coast and while it does increase our expenses for the week, it is always well worth it. YUM!

Ellie and I are going to try a new recipe this week for Espresso Chai Granola from THIS blogger, Wanna Be a Country Cleaver. Can’t wait!

Our budget is a bit over our goal of $100.00, mostly because we are having fresh seafood twice this week. We also stocked up on oatmeal, which will last a while. As usual, we are paying ourselves back for our canned and frozen foods since those stock up items were not included in our weekly budget last summer. But all in all, I think we did ok!

Budget [104.23]

  • Locals Seafood (scallops, flounder): $46.00
  • Farmer’s market (onions, eggs, cheese): $10.00
  • Trader Joes (mushrooms, frozen fruit, yogurt, breakfast burritos, dried coconut): $38.23
  • Mitchell family pantry (home canned tomato soup, frozen tomatoes, summer corn, pickled asparagus, canned peaches): $10.00
  • Mitchell family garden (Swiss chard, Chinese cabbage): FREE!

Menu

  • Sunday–Dinner out to celebrate our last Girl Scout cookie booth!!!
  • Monday–Grilled local cheese on homemade whole wheat bread with homemade tomato soup
  • Tuesday–Swiss chard with mushrooms and farm eggs, peaches
  • Wednesday–Girl Scouts (sandwiches and leftovers for dinner)
  • Thursday–Cornmeal dusted NC flounder, summer corn, pickled asparagus
  • Friday–Organic portabello mushroom “pizzas”
  • Saturday–Stir fried NC scallops and Chinese cabbage

Week 10–Budget and Menu

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All the food we canned and froze is coming in handy now that our market options are limited!

This is not my favorite time of year. Winter weather continues long after I lose patience with it, the lack of variety at the farmer’s markets is wearing thin, and I’m ready for spring. But spring is still a month away, so for now I’m focusing on using what we stored over the summer and planning for spring even though it isn’t here quite yet. This week’s menu uses up some of our canned and frozen summer food as well as what is in our garden. Thankfully, even though our markets are still heavy in root vegetables, we have lots of variety in our canned preserves, salsas and other yummy treats from summer!

Even though we are paying ourselves back for the stock up foods we put up over the summer (these items were not counted in our weekly budget since they were not consumed during those weeks), we are still looking good at $86.58 for the week! Here is how this week’s budget looks:

Budget [$86.58]

  • Farmers market (baking potatoes, lettuce, cabbage, onions): $12.00
  • Mae Farm (pork barbecue): $15.00
  • Mitchell pantry (corn, tomato sauce, field peas, peaches, salsa, jam): $18.00
  • Mitchell garden (collards, Swiss chard): free!
  • Trader Joes (dried cherries, dates, almonds, oatmeal, soy milk, yogurt, frozen fruit, organic coconut milk, pepper jack cheese): $41.58

Menu

  • Sunday–Cookie booth (dinner out)
  • Monday–NC pulled pork, collard greens, summer corn, peach cobbler
  • Tuesday–Pasta with roasted tomato sauce
  • Wednesday–Jacket potatoes, green salad
  • Thursday–Pulled pork quesadillas with field peas
  • Friday–Leftover buffet
  • Saturday–Family Pizza Smackdown Competition

Week 8 Budget and Menu

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Snow falling on collards!

Snow! We finally have a real snow here in central North Carolina! And the fact that it came on a weekend makes it even better. No missed work days. No stressful rush hours. Just relaxing and enjoying the snow, while planning for our spring garden! 

Our budget for this week does not include salmon purchased last week, but still in the freezer. That’s a carry over. And the collard greens and Swiss chard are from the garden. Still, we are doing fairly well at staying below our $100 limit. We are making some new recipes this week, many of them adapted from the magazine Clean Eating. Breakfasts this week include more oatmeal and some oat granola breakfast bars we’re trying this weekend. Will let you know what our favorites are!

Stay warm and start planning for spring gardening–it will be here before we know it!

Budget [$73.72]

  • Trader Joes (frozen fruit, organic soy milk, cheese, coconut milk, tortillas, lemon, lime): $36.22
  • Mae Farm (uncured ham steak, jowl bacon): $13.00
  • Farmers Market (broccoli, acorn squash, onions): $6.50
  • Rainbow Farm (chicken): $12.00
  • Mitchell Family Pantry (jam, summer corn): $6.00

Menu

  • Sunday–Poached salmon, collard greens, summer corn
  • Monday–Ham and swiss stuffed acorn squash
  • Tuesday–Tamari Honey Chicken, broccoli with almond butter sauce, turmeric rice
  • Wednesday–Thai tomato soup, leftover chicken
  • Thursday–Whole wheat pizza night
  • Friday–Spicy egg tortillas, black beans
  • Saturday–Pasta with roasted tomato sauce, sautéed greens
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